February 20, 2023
If your last launch was a total bust, you may have been missing the all-important pre-launch phase. This is where you build anticipation and excitement around your offer before you officially launch it.
In this blog post, I’m going to take you through the most important elements of a successful pre-launch campaign that you need to include in your launch plan.
Let’s dive in!
The purpose of a pre-launch campaign is to create anticipation and excitement for a product or service before its official release. It helps to build hype around your offer and allows potential customers to become familiar with your product before it hits the market.
Most people spend a LOT of time building out their offer, but few think about how to actually position their offer in a way that makes it utterly irresistible for their dream customers.
Crafting an irresistible offer starts with understanding who your dream customers are, what their pain points are, and what they need to solve those problems. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs, you can then position the messaging around your offer to speak to those needs and provide a solution they can’t refuse.
This isn’t simply about naming your offer. This is more about explaining the transformation your offer creates for your audience. One way you can do this is through a clear value proposition that explains why someone should choose your offer over any other similar offer.
Of course, you’ll also want to consider how to talk about the pieces that make up your offer (whether that’s modules or lessons or something else!) in a way that sounds utterly irresistible.
And, you’ll want to have social proof on hand (think customer testimonials, success stories, and case studies) you can draw on to illustrate the value of your product or service.
Once you’ve got these essential elements locked in, you can confidently move ahead with the other steps to creating your pre-launch plan, knowing you’ll be able to explain the benefits of your offer where you need to!
The purpose of your pre-launch content is to establish trust in you as the expert and prepare your audience to understand the importance of your upcoming offer by shifting beliefs (think mistakes or myths!) they have about your industry that might either hold them back from taking action or prevent them from realising why your solution **is better than similar offers on the market.
This means your pre-launch content is different from your launch content — so don’t confuse the two!
Gather content ideas for your pre-launch content by seeing what your audience has said about your topic. Review surveys, onboarding forms, and call transcripts to see what beliefs they might have about your topic that you completely disagree with!
You can also find pre-launch content ideas by looking at what other experts in your industry are sharing. Is there a common industry belief that you vehemently disagree with? If so, use this to fuel content where you bust this belief and explain your take on it instead.
A magnetic lead magnet (often called a “freebie”) allows you to build a targeted list of subscribers who are interested in the topic your offer is about.
For example, if you have a course that teaches small business owners how to more efficiently manage their tasks with software like Trello or Asana, you might offer a simple guide for setting up your first Trello board or a beginner’s guide to Asana as a lead magnet.
If you have a web design course, you might offer a 20-minute workshop on the 4 essential elements a client-converting website must have.
Whatever you create, you want to make sure you’re infusing the content ideas I talked about above (the ones that crush your audience’s current beliefs and show them a better way!) because this will set you apart as the expert who knows what they’re talking about (and your offer apart as the solution).
If you’re stuck on what to create for your lead magnet, I’ve got you! Swipe 8 proven email-list-building lead magnets right here.
The last thing you want to do is rush into the pre-launch period without a plan. Your pre-launch phase should flow seamlessly onto your launch phase, with the messages priming and prepping your audience along the way.
When it comes to your overall launch editorial calendar, I recommend you consider a few different phases:
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Now that you’ve got a plan in place for what you’re going to say and when, as well as an idea of the types of content you need to share to bust common industry beliefs, it’s time to actually craft your messaging.
By messaging, I simply mean alllllll of the word-related stuff when it comes to your pre-launch — think pre-launch emails, blog posts, captions, landing pages, thank you pages, and anything else!
As a general rule of thumb, I like to run a 3-4 week pre-launch period. There’s no right or wrong here — the length may differ depending on how many messages you believe your audience needs to hear before you launch.
Again, as a general rule, I like to focus in on one theme per week. Here’s what this could look like each week of the pre-launch phase:
And repeat for 3-4 weeks!
I need to preface this by saying that a waitlist isn’t a must for a successful pre-launch phase. Oftentimes a strategic lead magnet is enough. The main goal to keep in mind here is that you want to be building a list of interested subscribers and prepping and priming them with the messages they need to understand to be able to take action when your cart is open.
The benefits of building a waitlist are that you’re not just getting warm leads who are interested in the topic, but you’re attracting hot leads who have explicitly expressed their interest in your offer.
You can promote your waitlist on the front end. But the most effective way I’ve seen waitlists promoted is actually on the back end after someone has opted in to your lead magnet. You can automate this in Convertkit (the holy grail of email providers!). That means you’re turning an already warm lead into a hot lead without any extra effort on your end.
Alright, there you have it! That’s the roundup of the 6 essential steps you need to know to create a successful pre-launch campaign.
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